Bronze figures perturb neighbors

July 24, 2008 4:02:52 PM PDT
What has been happening in the front yard of a home in Gloucester County is anything but normal.At first glance, the front yard of a home on Beacon Avenue in Paulsboro may look like a garden center.

Passerbys give curious gazes at the dozens of bronze figures, some like Neptune stand nearly 12 feet tall. A few neighbors are upset over the number of statues saying it brings down property values and wonder why town officials can't put an end to it.

"What's one person's art is another person's clutter. Our municipal codes do not go into that kind of detail," Mayor John Burzichell (D) of Paulsboro said.

The property belongs to 59-year-old twin brothers John and Gerald Hubbs. In 2002, their front yard was dug up while authorities searched for the Hubbs' 82-year-old mother Ethel who had disappeared. Police believe the ill woman died of natural causes, but her body was never found. Meanwhile, her social security checks were cashed.

In the end, John and Gerald Hubbs got probation for charges that included possessing illegal weapons and stealing electricity from a neighbor. Since then the brothers have assembled this huge statuary garden

Over July 4th, the Hubbs were cited for allegedly firing cannons and setting off a fire-breathing dragon

Paulsboro officials are still reviewing zoning codes to see if any ordinances are being violated, but it doesn't appear that's the case. Neighbors disagree and plan to take their complaints to the next council meeting on September 2.

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